A new version of IEEE 1394 has been approved by the IEEE. Called S3200, it builds on the earlier specification and will quadruple top speeds to a blistering 3.2 Gbps over distances of up to 100 meters. The technology is called FireWire by Apple and i.LINK by Sony.
Further details will be unveiled this week, although it is understood that S3200 will be able to use existing FireWire 800 cables and connectors to deliver the boost in performance.

Says 1394 Trade Association spokesman Richard Davis in an e-mail with InformationWeek:

“It will probably go into storage products first. It should turn up in set-top boxes and maybe Blue-ray devices, too. It’s too soon to tell how fast [consumer electronics] makers might adopt it.”


The new spec also will let users interconnect various home-networking appliances via coax cable, “linking HDTVs with set-top boxes, TVs, and computers in various rooms around a home or office,” Davies said.

James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association, sums it up with, “The S3200 standard will sustain the position of IEEE 1394 as the absolute performance leader in multi-purpose I/O ports for consumer applications in computer and CE devices.”
S3200 will likely be compared to USB 3.0, which is still under development. USB 3.0 is expected to have 10 times the bandwidth of USB 2.0, or approximately 5 Gbps.

Which specification do you think will be the ubiquitous peripheral standard of the future? Will it be S3200, USB 3.0, or maybe even an enhanced version of eSATA, which currently maxes out at 3 Gbps?